SHOWDOWN: Deposed Egyptian president Morsi of Muslim Brotherhood on trial; Death penalty, life sentence possible

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Mohamed-Morsi-Egypt-deposed president-afp-pix
SHOWDOWN: Deposed Egyptian president Morsi of Muslim Brotherhood on trial; Death penalty, life sentence possible
Mohamed-Morsi-Egypt-deposed president-afp-pix

Deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood arrived at a Cairo police academy on Monday (November 4, 2013) to face trial on charges of inciting violence, state media reported.

It is the second time in just over two years that an ousted president has been in court in Egypt, a pivotal Arab nation some fear is sliding back into autocratic rule.
The trial raises fears of deepening instability in the region’s most populous country.
The Muslim Brotherhood has said it will defy a security crackdown and press on with street protests to pressure the army, which toppled Morsi on July 3, to reinstate him.
A popular uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in 2011 raised hopes that Egypt would embrace democracy and eventually enjoy economic prosperity.
Instead, the power struggle between the Brotherhood and the army-backed government has created more uncertainty.
The trial of Morsi and 14 other Islamists is likely to be the next flashpoint in their confrontation.
They face charges of inciting violence relating to the deaths of about a dozen people in clashes outside the presidential palace in December after Morsi enraged his opponents with a decree expanding his powers.
State news agency MENA said Morsi had travelled to court by helicopter. The trial is taking place at the same Cairo police academy where Mubarak also faces trial.
The defendants could face a life sentence or death penalty if found guilty.
The Brotherhood had won every election since Mubarak’s fall and eventually propelled Morsi into power after the Islamist movement endured repression under one dictator after another.
But millions of Egyptians who grew disillusioned with Morsi’s troubled one-year rule took to the streets this summer to demand his resignation.
The army, saying it was responding to the will of the people, deposed him and announced a political roadmap it said would lead to free and fair elections.
But the promises have not reassured Egypt’s Western allies, who had hoped the stranglehold of military men would be broken.
On the eve of Morsi’s trial, Egypt’s Al Watan newspaper released a video on its website of what it said was him speaking to unidentified individuals during his incarceration.
Dressed in a tracksuit, Morsi described his ouster as “a crime in every way”. The newspaper did not say when the video was taken.
The Brotherhood has called on its supporters to stage mass protests on Monday, but the size of their demonstrations has shrunk because of heaving policing.
“We have faith that the heroic Egyptian people will not let go of their freedom, dignity and value and will instead crawl to the unfair farce of a trial to show the world they are a people … who will never yield their commitment and legitimacy,” the Brotherhood said in a statement.
Speaking to a local television channel, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim warned the group: “If the Brotherhood commit any violations, they will regret it.”
Riot police crushed two-Morsi protest camps on Aug. 14, and hundreds of Islamists have been killed and thousands arrested, including the Brotherhood’s top leaders.
Egypt’s oldest and most influential Islamist group has also been banned and its funds seized. Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who toppled Morsi, has become immensely popular. Few doubt his victory if he runs for president.
The Brotherhood maintains Morsi’s ouster was a coup that reversed the democratic gains made after Mubarak’s overthrow.
‘The trial is a test for Egyptian authorities’
Human rights groups believe the trial will indicate whether Egypt will return to democracy or accept domination by generals once again.
“(The) trial is a test for the Egyptian authorities. They should present Mohamed Morsi in court and grant him a fair trial, including the right to challenge the evidence against him in court,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme.
“Failing to do so would further call into question the motives behind his trial,” she said, emphasising that the trial cannot proceed without Morsi’s presence in court.
In the most senior visit to Cairo by a U.S. official since Morsi’s fall, Secretary of State John Kerry also called for a fair, transparent trial for all Egyptians.
Egyptian officials admit the path to democracy has been rocky, but say a proper political transformation will take time.
Speaking to Reuters by phone, Osama Mursi, the deposed president’s 30-year-old son, said his father had not authorized a defence lawyer and the family would not be attending the trial. “We do not acknowledge the trial. We are proud of my father and feel strong about his position.” ref: Reuters

 

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MANDELA & ACHEBE: Footprints of GreatnessForthcoming 2013 BOOK: In this engaging, uniquely insightful and first person reportage book, MANDELA & ACHEBE: Footprints of Greatness, about two global icons and towering persons of African descent whose exemplary lives Mandela_Achebe_book-by-Chido_2013_cover-LrsMandela_Achebe_book-by-Chido_2013_cover-Lrsand friendship hold lessons for humanity and Africans, USAfrica Founder Chido Nwangwu takes a measure of their works and consequence to write that Mandela and Achebe have left “footprints of greatness.”

He chronicles, movingly, his 1998 reporting from the Robben Island jail room in South Africa where Mandela was held for decades through his 20 years of being close to Achebe. He moderated the 2012 Achebe Colloquium at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.“I’ll forever remember having walked inside and peeped through that historic Mandela jail cell (where he was held for most of his 27 years in unjust imprisonment) at the dreaded Robben Island, on March 27, 1998, alongside then Editor-in-chief of TIME magazine and later news chief executive of the CNN, Walter Isaacson (and others) when President Bill Clinton made his first official trip to South Africa and came to Robben Island. Come to this island of scourge and you will understand, in part, the simple greatness and towering grace of Nelson Mandela”, notes  Chido Nwangwu, award-winning writer, multimedia specialist and founder of USAfricaonline.com, the first African-owned U.S-based newspaper published on the internet, in his first book; he writes movingly from his 1998 reporting from South Africa on Mandela. http://www.mandelaachebechido.com/

 

Long Live, CHINUA ACHEBE! The Eagle on the iroko.                    

FULL text of this tribute-commentary at USAfricaonline.com click link  https://usafricaonline.com/2013/03/22/long-live-chinua-achebe-by-chido-nwangwu

ACHEBE Lives As an Immortal Writer In Our Hearts and Minds. By Chido Nwangwu.                USAfrica, May 22, 2013: https://usafricaonline.com/2013/05/22/achebe-lives-as-an-immortal-writer-by-chido-nwangwu/

ThisDay  Sunday May 26, 2013.  http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/achebe-lives-as-an-immortal-writer-in-our-hearts-and-minds/148550/

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Eight lessons of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston.   https://usafricaonline.com/2009/11/01/chido-8lessons-rwanda-genocide/

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Margaret Thatcher, Mandela and Africa.  By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica, and the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com. Click for newscast video of London-based SkyNEWS, the global, 24-hour British international tv network’s interview with USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu on April 11, 2013 regarding this latest commentary http://youtu.be/G0fJXq_pi1c )

There’s a compelling political trinity to Nelson Mandela: the man, the messiah and the mystique. https://usafricaonline.com/2013/07/18/mandela-95-hearty-cheers-to-his-footprints-of-greatness-by-chido-nwangwu/

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Obama’s Africa agenda, our business and democracy. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com

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Margaret Thatcher, Mandela and Africa.  By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica, and the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com. Click for newscast video of London-based SkyNEWS, the global, 24-hour British international tv network’s interview with USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu on April 11, 2013 regarding this latest commentary http://youtu.be/G0fJXq_pi1c )

Dancing with “ghosts” of BOKO HARAM, President Jonathan, Sultan Abubakar and Nigeria’s national security. By Dr. Chido Nwangwu

https://usafricaonline.com/2013/04/05/dancing-with-ghosts-of-boko-haram-president-jonathan-sultan-abubakar-and-nigerias-national-security-by-chido-nwangwu/

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Why Obama’s late to symbolic, historic meeting with Mandela.  By Chido Nwangwu.   https://usafricaonline.com/2013/06/26/obamas-late-to-symbolic-historic-meeting-with-fit-mandela-by-chido-nwangwu/

POPE FRANCIS, champion for the poor and evangelistic dedication’ by Chido Nwangwu